Cover photo for Conservation Innovation Grants

Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG)

Natural Resources Conservation Service

Closed October 30, 2023


Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) is a competitive program that supports the development of new tools, approaches, practices, and technologies to further natural resource conservation on private lands. Through creative problem solving and innovation, CIG partners work to address our nation's water quality, air quality, soil health and wildlife habitat challenges, all while improving agricultural operations.

The CIG program has three components, CIG Classic, CIG On-Farm Conservation Innovation Trials and state-level CIG. 

National and State CIG:

Public and private grantees develop the tools, technologies, and strategies to support next-generation conservation efforts on working lands and develop market-based solutions to resource challenges. Grantees must match the CIG investment at least one to one. The National CIG has an annual application period, State CIGs have various application period. Check your state's CIG page for details.

On-Farm Conservation Innovation Trials:

Newly authorized in the 2018 Farm Bill, On-Farm Trials support more widespread adoption of innovative approaches, practices and systems on working lands. On-Farm Trials projects feature collaboration between NRCS and partners to implement on-the-ground conservation activities and then evaluate their impact. Incentive payments are provided to producers to offset the risk of implementing innovative approaches.

The Soil Health Demo Trial (SHD) component of On-Farm Trials focuses exclusively on implementation of conservation practices and systems that improve soil health. Eligible entities receiving SHD awards agree to follow consistent soil health assessment protocols to evaluate the impacts of practice and system implementation.


Eligibility

National and State CIG – all non-Federal entities and individuals are eligible to apply. All CIG projects must involve EQIP-eligible producers.


Terms

National Competition

A CIG funding notice is announced each year. Funds for single- or multi-year projects, not to exceed three years, are awarded through a nationwide competitive grants process. Projects may be watershed-based, regional, multi-state or nationwide in scope. The natural resource concerns eligible for funding through CIG are identified in the funding announcement and may change annually to focus on new and emerging, high-priority natural resource concerns.

State Competition

The CIG state component emphasizes projects that benefit a limited geographical area. Participating states announce their funding availability for CIG competitions through their state NRCS offices. For additional information about State CIG competitions, please contact your State NRCS office or search for the latest postings here.      

On-Farm Trials

Up to $25 million annually is available for On Farm Trials, which support more widespread adoption of innovative approaches, practices and systems on working lands. On-Farm Trials projects feature collaboration between NRCS and partners to implement on-the-ground conservation activities and then evaluate their impact. Incentive payments are provided to producers to offset the risk of implementing innovative approaches. Read more.


Application Instructions

Systems Access for CIG Applicants

eAuthorization: Starting in 2021, individuals and organizations interested in applying for a CIG Classic or On-Farm Trials opportunity must obtain level 2 eAuthentication permissions. This process can be lengthy and CIG strongly encourages applicants to begin eAuth process as soon as possible to minimize the possibility of the eAuth process creating a roadblock to CIG application submission. Details on how to apply for eAuth can be found at https://www.eauth.usda.gov/eauth/b/usda/home.

Programs Portal Account: Potential applicants must also request access to the NRCS Programs Portal. This process typically takes a few business days. During this process NRCS must verify a users’ eAuth permissions and during high volume periods it may take over a week. After you have received eAuthorization, request a portal account by selecting “New Users” at: https://nrcs-sites.secure.force.com/    

Once you have received access to the CIG application within the Programs Portal, you may log in at https://nrcs.force.com/cig to begin your application.

Support



Details

Deadline

October 30, 2023

Financial Instrument

Grant

Minimum Award Amount

$250,000

Maximum Award Amount

$5,000,000

Total Program Funding

$15,000,000


Updated September 18, 2023

Image Credit: United Soybean Board

This information was gathered from public sources. Ambrook is not responsible for or able to affect the results of any financial programs listed, nor are they responsible for any incorrect information that is listed or is on the hyperlinked external sites. All information is subject to change.

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